Bea Arthur's LGBT Homeless Shelter Will Open In Time For The Holidays
Last fall, we told you about a planned New York City LGBT youth shelter to be opened in the name of Golden Girls star, Bea Arthur.
And now, a new report states that the shelter will open in time for the holidays, this year!
The Bea Arthur Residence, located on the Lower East Side, was made possible thanks to a $300,000 dollar donation left to the Ali Forney Center in the late actress's will.
Arthur, a staunch advocate for LGBT youth, had been a long-time friend of the center, and had previously performed in a benefit show fundraiser for the AFC.
Shortly before her passing, she said in an interview:
"I'm very, very involved in charities involving youth. These kids at the Ali Forney Center are literally dumped by their families because of the fact that they are lesbian, gay or transgender -- this organization really is saving lives."
The facility, which was scheduled to open earlier this year, was reportedly delayed due to setbacks.
But as soon as the facility receives final approval from the city, the Bea Arthur Residence will be able to provide shelter for 18 homeless LGBT youths.
Carl Siciliano, Executive Director of the Ali Forney Center said in a statement:
“We are proud to dedicate this residence in her honor, and humbled to celebrate this momentous occasion alongside Bea Arthur’s son and grandson.
"The Bea Arthur Residence marks an important shift in the way that we are able to house and care for young people who have been discarded by their families simply because of who they are. Pending city approvals, we hope to begin housing young people here within the next few weeks.”
At a naming ceremony for the shelter, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio declared November 30th as “Bea Arthur Day."
In a statement, he said:
“Named in honor of actress Bea Arthur who was a tireless advocate for homeless LGBTQ youth, AFC’s Bea Arthur Residence will offer safe and welcoming housing options, counseling, and employment assistance for young people in need. I am proud to join in applauding this organization’s incredible legacy of building a strong foundation for the next generation as we renew our commitment to protect and lift up our city’s LGBTQ youth."
H/T: Gay Star News